Luang Pu Waen Suciṇṇo
||This article may be written from a fan's point of view, rather than a neutral point of view. (June 2008)|
|Luang Pho Waen Sujinno|
16 February 1887|
Tambon Na Pong, Loei, Thailand
|Died||2 July 1985(aged 98)|
|Teacher||Ven. Mun Bhuridatta|
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Luang Pho Waen Sujinno (Thai: หลวงปู่แหวน สุจิณโณ, RTGS: Luang Pu Waen Su-Chin-No, also Phra Ajahn Waen Sujinno, popularly known as Luang Pho Waen meaning Venerable Grandfather; 16 February 1887 – 2 July 1985) is one of the longest living students of Phra Ajahn Mun Bhuridatta and was a very popular monk in Thailand. Luang Pho Waen Sujinno was also featured in the Asia Magazine. He led the thudong life until the point where he could not physically travel any more and had to settle in a forest monastery in the Chiang Mai region.
Luang Pho Waen Sujinno was a monk highly skilled in Samadhi and Dhamma. He disliked crowded places. He loved to live alone in the forests away from people and urbanized areas just like his teacher, Ajahn Mun Bhuridatta. Some people said that Luang Pho Waen had achieved Arahant level. Tahn Joo Koon Noh had mentioned that "There is a Phra Arahant, but he lives far away, in the forest".
Luang Pho Waen was born on 16 February 1883 (BE 2431) in Tambon Na Pong, Mueang District of Loei, Northeast (Isan) of Thailand to a blacksmith's family. He was named Yarn and had one elder sister. He ordained as a novice in 1892 at Wat Bodhi Chai in Na Pong at the age of nine to fulfill the wish of his mother when she died while he was five years old. At the age of 13, he became a Naen (novice monk) at Wat Poh Chai, Loei province. He studied with teachers and later ordained as a monk at a temple in Hua Taparn District of Ubon Ratchathani at the age of 21.
As a novice monk, he studied the Dharma and Pali, even at that young age he showed exceptional ability. He eventually went Thudong (forest monk) with his teacher, Ajahn Wuhan, travelling from Loei to Ubon Ratchathani, where he remained to learn Dhamma from another teacher, Ajahn Sing.
During his Thudong, he met disciples of Ajahn Mun whom he had wanted to further his studies under. Luang Pho Waen met Ajahn Mun in BE 2462 (at the age of 31) at Bahn Kor forest, Udon Thani province. Luang Por Mun Bhuridatta in Udon Thani who taught him the pursuance of a secluded life and the practice of meditation and Dhamma in the jungles. Subsequently Luang Pho Waen travelled widely in the Northeast of Thailand in search of isolated places where he could meditate. His travelling also took him to Bangkok where he met Chao Khun Phra Upali Gunupamacariya of Wat Bowonniwet in 1921 with whom Luang Pho Waen spent several years studying and practising the Dhamma. Later Chao Khun Phra Upali took him to Wat Chedi Luang in Chiang Mai where Luang Pho Waen decided to change from the Maha-Nikaya sect of Buddhism to the stricter Dhammayut sect.
Later he went Thudong again with Ajahn Dteu. During his Thudong, he encountered ghosts, wild animals and other dangers but was never afraid despite warnings from local villagers. It was his wish to experience and learn from everything.
Luang Pho Waen spent most of his monkhood as a forest monk, travelling from one province to another on foot, climbing hills, crossing rivers and deep forests. He had also went as far as Laos, Cambodia, Burma and even Vietnam on Thudong. At BE 2470, age 39, Luang Pho Waen arrived in Lampang.
He met another disciple of Ajahn Mun called Ajahn Keow. He was told that Ajahn Mun was in Chiang Mai. Luang Pho Waen quickly Thudong to Chiang Mai to look for Ajahn Mun. Finally he met Ajahn Mun and Ajahn Dteu at Wat Chedi Luang. Ajahn Mun officially accepted Luang Pho Waen as his disciple. He studied Dhamma at Wat Chedi Luang.
After Ajahn Mun left Wat Chedi Luang for Thudong, Luang Pho Waen also went Thudong in Chiang Mai. He stayed at Wat Huainumrin in Chiang Mai Province for 10 years. During his long stay in Wat Huainumrin, he stayed most of his time in forests and only returning to the temple during the rainy seasons (Khao Phansa).
Luang Pho Waen travelled extensively by foot through jungles and across mountains and ventured to Burma and India where he paid homage to several historic Buddhist sites. However, in 1955 news of a foot injury sustained during his stay in seclusion of Wat Paa Ban Pong in Mae Tang District, Chiang Mai, reached Phra Ajahn Noo Suchitto of Wat Doi Mae Pang who later arranged for Luang Pho Waen to stay in Wat Doi Mae Pang permanently. He resided in Wat Doi Mae Pang until his death.
Luang Pho Waen entered Maharaj Hospital on 15 April 1985 when he was found unable to eat or move and was operated on 4 June 1985 in order to feed him through a tube which was inserted into his stomach. However, complications developed and Phra Ajahn Noo, the abbot of Wat Doi Mae Pang, requested doctors not to perform any more operations as he wanted Luang Pho Waen to rest peacefully. His request was accepted by doctors and the Chiang Mai Governor, Mr. Chaiya Punsiriwong.
On 2 July 1985 at 9:54 pm, Luang Pho Waen finally died at the age of 98 years and 5 months after having been in the monkhood for almost 90 years. He was given a royal-sponsored bathing ceremony at Sala Ang Klaew in Chiang Mai University which was attended by the King and Queen of Thailand as well as the general public. His remains were cremated at a Royal Funeral on 16 January 1986.
"Sujinno Building", a 15-level building of Maharat Nakhon Chiang Mai Hospital, was named in his honor. It is located at.
“What is sacred? Everyone has something sacred within themselves. To have been born as a complete human being is already sacred. One can be sacred only from within oneself, and not by any amulet or other so-called sacred objects. Dhamma is sacred, and to have this sacredness, one must have Dhamma within oneself.”
(As a very popular monk, Luang Pho Waen is often rumoured to have “sacred amulets” - something which Thai people from all walks of life like to receive from revered monks - for their protective value. People from all over Thailand would often travel to Wat Doi Mae Pang to seek these amulets or other sacred objects from him. He would always give the same answer as the one quoted above.)
- Acariya Maha Boowa: Venerable Acariya Mun Bhuridatta Thera, a Spiritual Biography. Wat Pa Baan Taad 2003, Baan Taad, Amphoe Muang, Udon Thani, 41000 Thailand (no ISBN, available at this address, or 4MB pdf-download here)